The Sovereign Source of Joy

One of my common tendencies is to believe that I will be happy only if my circumstances change. During my (pitifully short) devotion yesterday morning, I was reminded of God’s sufficiency in meeting all my needs and satisfying all my desires. The Lord graciously brought two verses to my attention, calling me to recognize that circumstances are not the source of my joy. Instead, God is the only sure foundation of the happiness of my soul.

The first verse was Psalm 106:15: “And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul.” The Israelites received the monetary blessing they had asked for (or “lusted exceedingly” after, as verse 14 says), but God kept them from enjoying it.

The second verse was Psalm 4:7: “You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the season that their grain and wine increased”(Psalm 4:7). Here, the Psalmist’s heart rejoices—but not because of circumstances. On the contrary, he is not experiencing the increase that others have experienced. And yet the gladness of his heart exceeds the gladness of those who experience material blessings.

These two verses reminded me that it is God’s good and sovereign pleasure to satisfy the longing of one heart and deny the fulfillment of another. His power is so great as to transcend all circumstances, so that the glutted soul feels destitute and the hungry soul feels glad, should the Lord so choose. What I need is nothing less than God Himself.

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